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Love and Loss

Carmine Dandrea

To see Carmine’s three other FootHills books, click here.

From the book:


Writing Metaphors

A risk taken on the inside

without reckoning the cost,

revealing what is hidden

in the human heart:

a man writing poems,

keeping his sanity

when reality conspires

to diminish him

with illusion;

a man whose skin

is Rousseau-thin;

who trembles

with incurable guilt

when the world intrudes

too much

in its usual ways;

who holds his heart

in his hands,

fearing the breaks

that will surely come

with one misstep

in the watching world;

a man who knows, as he holds,

that it can become

the ordinary, four-chambered,

valved pump-apparatus,

liable to loss;

who says to himself:

“I won’t ask why”;

who goes on to write


Well, so I’ve soiled my hands

with life.

But what of it?

I sit here, moist in my beard,

spoiled with aging,

caught in a bourbon mist,

an old man, moldy in the mouth,

sitting with hands in my lap.

It’s not so much that I’m old

or that the world has ruined my face,

scarred it with a net of sins.

Others have risen with the sun

to stride across the day

and then not found their way.

It’s none of this, but—

park-sitting with the trees

on hand, with winter creeping

through the dead, dry grass;

watching a young, young woman

turn her hips—swivel,

her legs flashing in the light

of the late sun, shining.

But what of it?

She sees as she passes,

and I wink

with the lid of my left glazed eye.

But what of it?

I sit. I fondle my hands in my lap,

and I doze,

my eye still winked

as the wind, in an ancient gesture,

catches her skirt

and it rises and falls.


And she is gone,

but I sit, still winking

at the place she had filled.

But what of it?

The wind lifts my beard,

I nod, and I know

that it’s going to snow,

has in fact snowed.

But what of it?

Love and Loss

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Love and Loss




Love and Loss